The 2016 World Botanic EXPO, one of the largest horticultural shows in the world, kicks off with an official ceremony on Friday in Turkey's Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu are expected to participate in the expo's opening ceremony.
The expo, the first hosted by Turkey in the event's 160-year history, will last six months, April to October, and will take place on a sprawling, 121-hectare exhibition site.
The expo, with the theme "Flowers and Children" and slogan "A green world for future generations", is meant to promote Turkish history and cultural diversity as well as its rich agricultural and economic potential.
The expo features national and international events such as concerts, congresses and symposiums, dance shows, musicals, plays, workshops, streets shows, and special events for national days and the holy month of Ramadan.
Up to 8 million visitors are expected to visit the six-month event. Beside green areas, the expo has a special "Turkey's Eiffel" Tower, a lake, a biodiversity course, kids island, glass bridge, agriculture and biodiversity museum, science and technology center for children as well as food courts, amphitheaters, watermills, and gardens from participating countries.
The expo also displays horticultural varieties and products from abroad, especially vegetation and green culture. The expo will boast 25,000 trees from 120 different species. Besides a 650,000-square-meter green field, there is an 80-square-meter lake on the exhibition site. 300,000 square meters are reserved for visitors.
More than 50 countries are expected to participate in the expo, including China, Japan, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Qatar, Uganda, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Burundi, the Netherlands, Germany, Hong Kong, Senegal, and South Africa, to name but a few.